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U.s. 10, Washington 8, Us 3, China 3, Adam Smith 2, George W. Bush 2, Moore 2, Rick Folbaum 2, Clinton 2, Obama 2, Motorola 2, At&t 2, Lipitor 2, Verizon 2, Ronald Reagan 2, California 2, Europe 2, Mankind 2, America 1, James Rosen 1,
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  FOX News    Stossel    News/Business.  
   Current consumer issues.  

    July 9, 2011
    3:00 - 4:00pm EDT  

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i'm jon scott. thanks for watching and we'll see you again next week.
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>> brett: the economic decline called the great recession begin in december of 2007. the recession ended in june 2009 yet americans are still struggling. unemployment hovers around 9%. hometown prices have cratered. it's hard to argue that anything that washington is doing is working. and consumer spending is the weakest in 20 months. so how do we get back on track? this hour, fox news reporting with ten ways to save the economy. we began with chief correspondent james rosen on restoring consumer confidence. >> y 2 k, the dawn of a new millennium and the peak of consumer confidence, the highest
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measurement of the crucial static since they first developed it back in 1967. >> we asked consumers various questions how they stand right now, how they think the economy going in the if out. >> he served as chairman of economic advisors under president clinton? >> if everybody is gloomy about the future the economy is likely to remain on a slow growth or even a sefx path. >> surveys found a confidence hitting a new low this year. president obama cited still another factor, high gasoline prices. >> it has an enormous function on the budget of consumers and families. >> how much can a president of the united states affect
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american consumer confidence? >> a lot of presidents to do this when they talk about how they are going to invest in our country and invest in our roads and education but i think people are like tired and also understand that nothing really ever good comes out of it. >> i think a lot of makes the argument like franklin roosevelt. the only thing to fare feer is fear itself. he projected a lost confidence. i think ronald reagan projected a lost confidence. there was severe recession. we had 10% unemployment and the economy came back. so i think there are people who do and can project that kind of confidence. >> across ronald reagan's president, consumer confidence rose 44 points. the worst showing came under another president, george w. bush, consumer confidence
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dropped almost 80 points that came with the onset of the great depression. >> our review of data on consumer confidence kept by the conference board yielded more than a few surprises. the high point came january of 2000 but that peak was duplicated right on our board four months later in may of 2000. you would have thought that a traumatizing event like the terrorist attacks of 9/11 would have been catastrophic. but it had begun before 9/11 and after the attacks was marginal. that was fully restored by january 2002. in a similar fashion, the stock market crash of 1987 did not lasting damage to consumer confidence. it dropped by 15 points but it was back by february 1988. the steepest plunge in consumer
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confidence came after 1973. that one month, nixon impeachment trials, the yom kippur war in the middle east and the oil embargo. by christmas 1973, consumer confidence had shrunk by more than a third. but not even nixon resignation produced the absolute low point in consumer confidence. that came in february 2009. with inauguration of president obama you but also the great recession. if there is one discreet sk for of the economy where it's in low supply, how the go sector that is serving as a drag on the economy as a whole. >> that brings us to the second way to save the economy. housing. in the month of may, national association of realtors reports existing home sales fell 3.8% for a total annual sales, it
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lags behind last year's showing, the worst showing in 13 years. or first time home buyers who hired contractors for renovations and investing new neighborhoods made up only 35% of the sales. >> all the programs going back to the one that bush instituted and obama instituted turned out to be very hard to raise the rate of the housing market. what would help is that prices stopped falling and they started rising. >> would an increase in home places help with the problem of inventory, backlog of homes particularly in sun belt states that remain unsold? an economist says the downward pricing mechanism would help the housing market. >> what are our leaders doing and saying to improve the
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confidence levels of home buyers. >> i think that the reason why a lot of sellers are not willing to lower their prices, they are expecting to see that the government once again is going to step in and do something to prop up these prices. it would be extremely important for everyone and relatively balanced market. is to say the government is going to interfere in the how go market. >> for those homeowners about to plunge underwater, liberal economists advocate uncle sam providing a helping hand. >> if one could focus on that group, not to bail them out but to give them some kind of temporary support so they could get through that, that is the kind of thing that would help the housing market stabilize. conservative economists one
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uncle sam evicted from the housing market. >> i don't see any reason why the federal government ought to be to be in to keep homes in one set of people right now when there are other americans that can live in those houses and probably be able to afford them especially if housing prices come down. >> almost a decade has passed since george w. bush vowed to increase the rates of minority home ownership. >> if you own your own home you are realizing the american dream. >> it followed with similar efforts under president clinton and it was the expansion of mortgage lending to low income borrowers who present the higher risk of foreclosure that burst the housing bubble and triggered the credit crisis. >> someone who lived in an apartment most of their life never understood right there is some sort of right to live in had a house. >> so the proposed solution for
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the housing market turned on the effectiveness of government intervention, what is clear this slumping sector is hampering the economy as a whole. >> up next, when it comes to reviving the economy, two prescriptions generate the most debate, tax cuts or tax hikes? back after the break. verizon claims i 4g lte is twi as fast as &t. we're putting them to the test against the speed of a rescue unit. go ! they're downloading a music album. the first network to finish gets rescued. does your phone know that we're racing ? done ! verizon's done ! i've got seven left ! the fastest networin america. verizon. built so you can rule the air. now powering the lg revolution.
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>> brett: some economists say we need tax cuts to fuel economic growth. others argue we need tax hikes to close the federal deficit and that will give the economy room to grow. doug mccalaway looks at both sides. >> adam smith could never have imagined the matters on the new york stock exchange but he would have understood its purpose. in his seminal work, smith said
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of his fellow man, by pursuing his own interests he frequently promotes that of society than what he really intends -- >> it's proved by people pursuing their self-interests and using their skills and abilities to try to better their lives. like adam smith is saying, it's not by trying to do the good but pursuing your self-interests you create wealth. >> it's that fundamental tenet that many politicians make promises like this. >> read my lips. >> fewer taxes you pay the more of your own money you keep. but that does benefit the economy more than if the money were collected by the government? >> if in the short running that would provide a stimulus and put
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more money in the pockets and give them more money to spend. the problem is we have a huge budget deficit that while on the one hand you might be contributing positively to demand, you are contributing more to this problem or as much to this problem of the big deficit. >> government cannot create wealth. come on. we have come out three years where government by spending massive amounts it could create jobs and create wealth and you've seen that. >> history is full of examples. reagan saw tax cuts and growing economy. clinton years saw tax hikes and a growing economy. but don't confuse with causation it's cumulation of trillions of goods, services and money. no one person, no president and no economist can predict with
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certainty where a tax policy leads. wrong predictions are a foundation of economic study. >> the size of economics is looking what the unintended consequences. >> one unintended consequence is tax on luxury goods in the early 1990s. the law imposed extra taxes on jewelry of $10,000 of cars of over $30,000 and boats of over $100,000. it was seen as a way of raising revenue by targeting people that could most afford it, the wealthy. the pleasure boat industry laid off 19,000 blue collar workers. so economists offer answers but few guarantees of success. >> the capital gains tax as a deduction, make a system that is a simpler and that is more fair.
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>> i don't think there is much evidence that tax cuts can really pay for themselves. i think the net impact is going some increase in the deficit. we talk about the long running budget problem and aging population. right now we borrow close to 40 cents of every dollar we spend. this is within the context of a very serious deficit problem in the short run and long run. >> economyists may be as divided on the political class how to grow the economy, there is agreement among them. the individual tax code is certainly complex and simplifying it getting rid of loopholes would go in a long way to bring the economy in the right direction. then the next way, corporate taxes. >> like a lot of american businessman, brett doesn't understand his taxes. he runs a million dollar
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construction company that employs over a thousand people building high-rises. it started out in 1947 as two guys and a pickup truck. 1947 balance sheet shows total assets of a little over $2,000. but the current tax and regulatory environment makes it impossible to duplicate his success. to demonstrate the mind numbing environment, he holds a bank loan, written on a single piece of paper. today it would fill three binders. part of his job he used to monitored changes to the tax code.
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many economists agree. at the turn of last essential there was no corporate income tax. it wasn't in until 19090 when one was imposed. u.s. ranks second in the world nightest corporate tax rate, 39.12%. 10% of his office staff is come police station with taxes and regulations.
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economists call that deadweight. every dollar like miller and longs pay to comply with regulations gets passed on to the consumer at the end of the food chain. he wants the entire process simplified. adding to the private sector's fears, the federal debt.
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there are encourage can signs, from both ends of pennsylvania avenue there is a call to simplify the corporate tax code. economists agree that loopholes is a huge source of revenue loss. >> but with the progression peculiarities of losing those loopholes many companies deploy armies of attorneys to capitol hill. so to simplify the tax code. >> brett: coming up, new laws and new regulations and new questions, after the break. nts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose.
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>> brett: president obama sold his overhaul of health care and the financial sector as ways to revive the economy. those laws combined with more than 2,000 pages long, not including thousands of additional pages in regulations. many not yet written. businesses and citizens still don't know exactly how these changes will affect them. washington correspondent shannon bream reports. >> we have gotten bogged down in the regulatory process. >> each time a law is passed. detailed regulations in how the law are implemented is ironed by the relevant agency but that often takes a great deal of time especially when it comes to a 2000 plus page bill or the
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dodd-frank bill described as the biggest overhaul to the regulatory system in history. >> worst part of all, there is uncertainty lingering. if you remember ashley, it took two years for regulators to issue all the rules that were included in the regulation. according positive experts it's going to take five times longer to do the financial regulation bill. so you have ten years for all the rules are written. >> in fact, some regulations to the patriot act in 2001 still aren't finished. most laws have built in time frames to get regulations drafted subjected to public comment and finalized but those markers aren't always met. >> those rules were going to be rolled out one after the other
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and there were deadlines. i know we have missed a lot of deadlines on both sides of rules that will have to be brin by a certain deadline. it's hard to tell. we are talking about, just in the case of financial regulation bill, ten years to actually produce all the rules. so if half of them miss their deadlines we could see it taking much longer. >> the problem of regulation, the regulation itself but the slowness and complexity of the regulatory process. meanwhile, businesses are left in a holding pattern, unsure of how to move forward until they know how they will be impacted. dan danner says small businesses which operate on very tight margins are especially worried about the unknown. >> they don't know what the costs of health care is going to be. they know they will be mandated to provide something. they will be told what that is. they have no idea what it's
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going to cost. >> in the next ten years, maybe more, investors, entrepreneurs, business owners are in limbo and not really going to know what rules are going to regulate their hiring, anything that does business. >> experts say while most businesses admit they dislike government regulations they can deal with the red tape as long as they know whatthis are facing. danner says when they issue regulations in timely fashion, small businesses can plan and invest and move the u.s. economy forward. >> you wouldn't take that risk if you look at how many small businesses fail in the first 6 months or first year. so small businesses and small entrepreneurs are inherently optimists. we look forward to the future and small business members do.
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>> as for how the regulations with the healthy care law are progressing, the initial proposals have been drafted but the final regulations won't be issued until 2015 if they are finished on schedule. >> brett: coming up, reviving main street. the importance of small business as ten ways to save the economy continues after the news break. [ male announcer ] this...is the network -- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more amecans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... f greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
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i'm rick folbaum. the nation is mourning the loss of betty ford. she died in california. she was 93 years old. president obama is saying she helped reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and nancy reagan praising her efforts to educate women about breast cancer. there will be services in california where she lived and then she will be buried alongside her husband in grand rapids, michigan. >> history makes a day in the bronx. new york city, yankee great, derek jeter getting hit 3,000 with a home run off of david price. he is the 28th player to have reach that milestone, if you can believe this he is the only yankee to become a member of that exclusive club. infant who caught the homerun ball gave it back to jeter who has gone four for four in the game. i'm rick folbaum.
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ee you 6:00 eastern. >> brett: welcome back to ten base to save the economy. there are more than 27 million start-ups and small businesses in the united states, they create the majority of the new jobs in america. how do we get small business growing again? here again is shannon breem. >> traditionally we are led out of a rescission by small businesses hiring people and creating jobs. that is not happening in this recession at this time. >> reporter: he is ceo of the national federation of independent businesses a group that represents small businesses across the u.s. the latest survey shows those all businesses crucial to the recovery of the u.s. economy aren't feeling helpful. this marks the third consecutive
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month that sou optimism drop. only 35% say now is a good time to expand. data from the bureau of labor statistics show the 12 month period that ended in 2010 marked the lowest number of start-up businesses in the u.s. since they started measuring the trend. no surprise to march kin bailey of brookings. >> they are definitely one of the reasons we're not recovering as quickly as many of us hoped. there has been a drop in new business formation and small businesses are not hiring. even those that are star go are not hiring that many people. >> so what is driving submit experts brad jensen say it's largely about washington's unresolved debt crisis and the lack of certainty about how lawmakers will address issues regarding the solvency of medicare and medicaid and social
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security? >> there is enormous uncertainty with how the political process is going to grapple with these issues. >> a senior research fellow at george mason university says the unresolved matters is fueling a level of instability that tends to bring small businesses to a standstill. >> it paralyzes entrepreneurs and people who are willing to actually take risks and invest our money in our business but also invest this n workers and hire people. >> while pundits and lawmakers and economists may disagree how to resolve those problems, there is general agreement that coming to some kind of resolution will allow small businesses to restart hiring and investing. >> i think certainly coming to grips with the long term fiscal situation is something that would be enormous boost to confidence. >> all these people end up sitting on their capital rather
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than do the best, taking risks, hiring people, innovate go. treasury-secretary timothy geithner also acknowledged that uncertainty in washington is hindering businesses across america and it's up to capitol hill to come up with permanent solutions to the economy's woes. >> i think it would demonstrate that the country has the capacity to try to make some kind of progress in solving a long term problem that is a bit of cloud on the country. as lawmakers work to figure out the law term debt resolutions, many business owners say they need a permanent fix from one tax policy that threatens to wipe them out completely, the estate tax. >> for small business. it really matters. the business is your savings. it's your legacy for your kids. in most cases it's everything
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you own. >> the federal estate tax can be tricky for many small businesses. when an individual dies, what he or she leaves behind can be subject to significant taxation, even if it's primarily invested into a family business. if the entity doesn't have enough cash on hand, they are often forced to sell the business in order to raise enough money. >> as the real fear. it's faced by a significant portion of small business owners, when the owner actually passes away prematurely or if they don't plan for their estate if it isn't large enough, then the inheriter has to liquidate the assets. >> over time one of small businesses shut down, people are put out of work. currently the tax kicks in for an individual estate at $5 million at a rate of 35%. that is the result of a deal worked out between the white
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house and key republicans in late 2010 just as the number of tax rates were set to expire, but the fix was temporary and small business owners have no idea what may happen when they expire at the end of 2012. the estate tax has been around since 1916 and has raged as high as 77%. >> higher estate taxes lose jobs to put it bluntly. >> for now, family held small businesses, they wonder whether lawmakers will reach a 11th hour deal on estate taxes leaving them hesitant to invest until they get their guidance, it's up to washington to convince them to get off the sidelines. i asked what kind of fluctuation in the estate rate makes a difference. >> a lot times it means they
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can't afford to keep their business. the principal passes away and they don't have enough cash around to be able to pay the tax association that the kids and family can continue to run the business, in a lot of cases it means the business gets shut down to be able to pay the estate tax. >> one report from a non-partisan budget office said this about the estate tax. quote because the tax reduces the after tax on investment it could lead people to in -- small businesses know when it expires some in washington will look to them as the source of much needed income. >> when there is a lot of talking about in order how to reduce the debt, we need to increase taxes dramatically. the solution is going to be massive increases in revenue collection.
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what you are signaling to people is higher tax taxes are in the future. >> he believes that the overall system needs an overhauling. a five or ten-year deal will not provide enough certainty. it's time for washington to come up with a permanent answer. >> it's parts of a comprehensive reform. that is what we are hoping for. that is what will alleviate that uncertainty and allows them to invest in their businesses. these are things we need for economic growth. >> absent congressional intervention beginning in 2013, the estates will be taxed $1 million instead of $5 million. >> it's a fixed tax. >> up next, weeks after president obama took office he pushed a massive spending bill
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through congress that he said would stimulate the economy? did it work? do we need another? that is after the break. the stronger the rapids, the more we loved it. took some wild risks when i was young. but i was still taking a risk with my cholesterol. anyone with high cholesterol may be at increased risk of heart attack. diet and exercise weren't enough for me. i stopped kidding myself. i've been eating healthier, exercising more, and now i'm also taking lipitor. if you've been kidding yourself about high cholesterol, stop. along with diet, lipitor has been shown to lower bad cholesterol to 60 percent.
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lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patits who have heart diase or risk factors for heart disease. [ female annncer ] lipitor is not for evyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if y are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. lets go... haha. if you have high cholesterol, you may be at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. don't kid yourself. talk to your doctor about your risk a about lipitor.
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>> brett: in february 2009, president obama signed the american recovery and reinvestment back, the stimulus, massive deficit spending package bailed out state and local governments, funded allegedly shovel ready projects and poured
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money into democratic lawmakers favorite programs. administration projected if congress passed that plan back then, unemployment would not top 8%. it was 78.8% at the time. today it's 9.1%. so what now? do we cut spending or double down with a bigger stimulus? once again, here is doug. >> reporter: the economic devastation of the great depression was far worse than our recession of our today. one out of four workers were unemployed. international trade slowed by 50%. but the solutions then and now were mod old the same top down approach. in 1933 was called the new deal. it transformed the u.s. with an array of programs and public works programs to build infrastructure. it regulated the banks and created social security, but it
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didn't end the depression, only world war ii did that. 76 years later, a new financial crisis brought on a new stimulus a american recovery and reinvestment act. it's for infrastructure and preventing future layoffs and staving off the bankruptcy of gm and chrysler. did it work? >> it was a bit of a mess. they wanted to get it through quickly. they hammered the reigns through congress and you got everybody in every district wanting some of it. it could have been handled better. do i think it help? i do think it helped because the economy really was in free fall. it added a little more money to the system and represented the recession to be not quite as severe. was it enough to avoid this huge downturn, obviously it wasn't.
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>> reporter: they found the stimulus helped the economy. it found that by the second quarter of year it raised gdp by 1.7 to 4.35%. it increased the number of people who had jobs by 1.4 and 3.3 million. the new deal helped the massive unemployment rate and made improvements. to tennessee valley to arid west to farmable land. but just as then, the debate is whether private or public spending helps to heal a wounded economy. >> government spending has to come from somewhere. the government doesn't have money on it's oven. for the government to spend money, it has to take a different place in the economy.
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it has to tax people or it has to do something else. these bring negative things very than. >> they argue the best stimulus is to leave money in the pockets of the people who make it, economists say a top down approach is needed. >> recession is a time when we are short of jobs, short of demand, people are not spending enough to employ the economy. so if you can take the government and take some of its spending and add it to the private spending, i don't think that is private spending to go down. there may be some off set. if we look around the world, you see that china had a big stimulus package, was very successful to them. some of the countries in europe have followed a tight austerity road they have seen severe situations. i'm not conventional economics
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if you spend in the short run -- i'm not a big fan of spending over the long run. >> there is a middle ground. one reflected in public-private partnerships. there is great benefit to mankind and to the economy. take for example the creation of the internet. one of the founders it never would have been possible without the investment of the federal government. that brings us the next way to save the economy, long term government spending. i believe this nation should commit itself in achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> the united states met kennedy's goal eight years later in one of greatest achievements of mankind. he wanted to demonstrate to the soviets the superiority of
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capitalist system. >> none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. >> adjusted in 2005 dollars, the apollo cost $170 billion and it produced the benefits we see in everyday lives. integrated circuit led 20 years later to proliferation of the home computer and in part to the tech revolution and led again to what scientists, that led to moore's law is that transistors are being doubled every years. all the devices get progressively smaller the power increases. some say may be the genesis of a new technological and economic receive solution. >> if you look back at that time i don't anyone predicted the effect of moore's law and cheapness of computers and telecommunications. since then we had a lot of
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search engines and software stuff. and it's technology we can manipulate. life sciences we that are coming along. i don't get a sense there is a shortage of new technologies but we need to get past the housing slump and banking crisis and all that before we can really take advantage. >> government is expanding broadband coverage as it did with electrical power 57 years ago. or the interstate highway systems. many jobs lost in the recession will never come back. some call for emphasis on retraining workers. >> probably a mixture of local governments, big governments and federal government initiatives with the private sector to produce an educational system and beyond educational, i don't think it's k-12 or its college,
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it's probably continual learning. how are we going to take 40-year-old unemployed person who has been out of work for 12-18 months and give them skills they need for a job that does exist. >> for every have a pollo program there is another massive program that did not produce inspiring results. >> we are spending gigantic amounts of money on roads. also on education. the government every budget year the government whether republican or democratic tells us how they are investing in our future. it doesn't seem to be paying off at all. >> economists are evenly divided over whether long term government spending programs work but most agree whether the private sector may have the inspiration and no how but lacks the money to carry out the new idea. they say government can help play a key role in developing
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the economy. >> coming up, america versus the rest of the world after the break.
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>> brett: welcome back. new laws put u.s. companies at a disadvantage with the rest of the world? here again is james rosen. >> i just wanted to say a few words about the economy. >> reporter: sometimes lost in the endless debate how to save the economy is essential fact that the that the american economy does not existed in a vacuum. we are locked into a fierce battle over scarce resources and precious human capital that pits us against 200 nations around the world. >> there is no question today that almost every business is
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global. the whole question about outsourcing is where the best business environment. >> as we hurdle toward a digital future, america finds herself increasingly in competition with those nations known as the brick countries, brazil, russia, india and china. last two have over the last five years both ranked among the top 40 most improved countries in terms of easing the regulatory practices on businesses. >> i suspect they will continue to be on deregulatory track. it's not the u.s. gets terrible grades on this. we need to do better. >> in 2010 and for the fifth consecutive year the world bank doing business survey which ranks 183 economies in terms of their regulatory burden found
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singapore to be the world's friendliest environment. the u.s. is in fifth place, they were third in 2009 and saw america buck ago worldwide trend. >> that trend has seen 85% of the world's economies over the last five years to take step stoems make it easier for local entrepreneurs to operate. 61 countries fared better than the u.s. in the tax burden on business owners. >> where do we fall in the rankings of industrialized states? >> ten years ago, america was plates to grow a business. it's not true anymore today. i think americans are better than most european countries, it is still easier and start a
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business and to hire people than it is in europe. the heavier regulation and on labor markets. more economic growth. >> some regulations remain vital. child labor laws or licensing for lawyers. economists across the political spectrum agree the best regulations are themselves tightly regulated. they want to address specific problems. for america to prevail it will require not only continual improvement in the business climate but a strengthening of related conditions, conditions entrepreneurs cannot take for granted in the brick countries. >> there are changes afoot that are making the u.s. business community reconsider what businesses are like in china. i think there is recognition, that some regulations change in united states, they can change
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in other countries too, sometimes to the detriment to commercial activity. >> brett: one thing is certain, economists like the american people are deeply divided about how to fix the economy. both sides cannot be right. saving the economy may end up being a matter of trial and error but will ultimately matter is whether our leaders will admit if they get it wrong and are able to change course in time. that is our program. i'm brett baier in washington, thanks for watching. as a manager, my team counts on me to stay focused. so i take one a day men's 50+ advantage. it's the only complete multivitamin with ginkgo to support memory and concentration. plus it supports heart health. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit. one a day men's. yeah. well we're the two active ingredients in zegerid otc. i'm omeprazole. and i'm sodium bicarbonate.
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